Reflections: July 7, 2020
Tuesday of the Fourth Week after Trinity
By Alexander Lange
For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. (Romans 8:20-21)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Our God isn't merely interested in rescuing disembodied souls. God is determined to rescue bodies. Jesus was raised from the dead, in order to rescue you from death. That means that God will raise you from the dead on the Last Day.
Disembodied souls can live in a non-material place, but bodies cannot. Bodies need earth beneath their feet. Your body is connected to this earth. Your body is made from earth and your purpose is to care for the earth. Reread the first chapters of Genesis.
Where will God's people live after Judgment Day? Heaven is not your home, but the earth is. The Garden of Eden was a preview of God's original intention -- merging heaven and earth, so that the earth itself becomes God's Temple and humans serve in God's presence as His priests. That's what we see at the end of Revelation -- the New Jerusalem descending to earth, so that God can abide with man.
Your sins have tainted this earth. Your sins brought death to this world. The earth is subject to futility and to decay. However, Jesus atoned for your sins on the Cross and on Easter morning He emptied death of its power. Yes, He did this for you, but not only for you. Jesus conquered sin and death to liberate all of creation. The Lord made this world and called it good. He isn't interested in letting sin and death keep it.
When you serve in your vocations and show good stewardship in the care of this planet, you are not merely doing what needs to be done until Christ returns. No, you are doing what humans were made to do. In a sense, you are beginning your service that will continue into the New Creation. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Glorified, I shall anew With this flesh then be enshrouded; In this body I shall view God, my Lord, with eyes unclouded; In this flesh I then shall see Jesus Christ eternally. ("Jesus Christ, My Sure Defense" LSB 741, st. 5)
- Rev. Alexander Lange is pastor of Holy Cross Evangelical Lutheran Church in Albany, Oregon.
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